Book Beat – Man Booker Longlist and Toronto Desi Comic Book Artist

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Hi book lovers! Ashley here! I have been so busy this past week. The office where I work is hosting a group of Japanese youth for a knowledge exchange excursion! They are teaching me a lot about their favourite manga! A lot happened in the book world, so let’s get caught up together!

The Man Booker prize 2017 longlist was announced late last week and has quickly garnered talk and speculation. The list is comprised of literary greats like Zadie Smith, Sebastien Barry, and Arundhati Roy. The award was only opened to U.S. authors in 2014, and the first American author, Paul Beatty, won last year for The Sellout. Here’s hoping Zadie Smith is the second! Colson Whitehead’s Pulitizer prize winning The Underground Railroad is also included, so who can tell. The award is considered one of the most prestigious literary achievements, and winners can usually expect a jump in sales for their books. Check out a list of all the books on the longest here. As well you can read a breakdown of the authors and the award here.

I was shocked to hear the fallout from the acclaimed book critic Michiko Kakutani leaving the New York Times. The pulitzer winner was chief book reviewer and helped elevate the voices of many authors like Zadie Smith. She also managed to piss of Jonathan Franzen and J.K Rowling – but everyone needs to be knocked down a peg once or twice. She will be missed for her ability to objective and judge a book through different details. If you want to read more about the critic and her legacy check out this article. She will remain a beacon of fairness and wits for women in this industry.

Screenshot of the book cover Trust no Aunty with three aunties on the cover

Trust No Aunty Book Cover taken from the authors Instagram @hatecopy

Toronto artist Maria Qamar has become Instagram famous with her account @hatecopy where she uses comic-like art to depict her upbringing as a young desi girl. She struggled within the confines of her strict family, racist comments, and bullying. The book has been received with joy and understanding, and as a South Asian woman myself, I can totally relate to some of her topics. The author hopes that women will keep fighting and pushing themselves. You can check out more about the author and the book here.

Russel Hornsby and Lamar Johnson will join Amandla Stenberg–what a swoon worthy cast–for the adaption of Angela Thomas’s Black Lives Matter novel The Hate U Give. Stenberg will play the lead Starr who becomes the eye witness to a police officer shooting her best friend who was unarmed. She has to navigate issues of race, poverty, and her own membership to an upper crust school. I am ready! You can read more about the adaption here.

Happy Thursday!

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About Author

Ashley is a proud Torontonian, third year social worker student, full time child advocate and national award winning writer. She will defend Anakin Skywalker and Jon Snow till she dies.

1 Comment

  1. Zadie Smith is not American. She was also shortlisted in 2006 for On Beauty. I have been greatly disappointed in the Booker lists since they opened the prize to Americans, as they seem to push out Commonwealth and Irish authors. Heck, Mike McCormack’s Solar Bones is from the year previous but was not eligible because of the rules changes made its Irish publisher too small to submit works, but now that it has a bigger British publisher, it’s eligible the year after. I used to love looking at the list to discover works by Nigerian, Indian, etc authors I might not have heard of, but it’s been less and less useful for that.